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Love is…

Love is…

September 21, 2006

I always wanted a large family and siblings. A brother, a sister… I didn’t care which. And some cousins, and aunts, and uncles who would all get together for fourth of July picnics. Instead I got an abusive lunatic for a mother and no one else.

Ever since I was little I said I was going to have a lot of kids. Of course my idea of a lot was three or, maybe if I got really crazy, four! I wanted to be in one of those loud crazy big families where everyone seemed to talk at once and told stories is some kind of short hand language that would make them all laugh until they couldn’t speak. I would sit there laughing because they were laughing, but the entire time feeling that I didn’t fit in. And no matter how much I hung out there at that house, they weren’t my family.

And now I have that. There are times when I am overwhelmed by the everydayness of my life, just like mothers who have one child or twenty children. But most of the time when I watch them interact with each other, laugh with each other, retell stories with each other it makes me happy. It warms my heart like one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. Happy in one of those living vicariously through my children sort of moments.

I love watching their relationships with each other develop and the love and kindness they share for each other. It is bittersweet for me sometimes, because as I watch them I realize what I missed out on. People ask me all the time how I made my children so kind and loving, especially to each other. There is no sibling rivalry or jealousy between my children at all. And really I have no magical answer. I do believe though that people who are shown love and respect, give love and respect to others in return.

Yesterday I was sitting outside on the front porch while my 1 yr old, 3 yr old, and 5 yr olds were playing in the driveway. The 5 yr old was riding his scooter and showing me all his “tricks”

After a little while of watching, Miles decided he wanted to ride on a scooter also, which obviously he can not yet manage. He would set the scooter upright and fall over, set the scooter upright and fall over, scream and kick the scooter, and try again. I tried to distract him with some other ride on toy options, but he wouldn’t budge.

My five year old rode over to him on his own scooter.

“C’mon sweetie, I’ll help you.” he said. And with that he helped him stand on the scooter and proceeded to push him on it. He pushed him up and down the driveway for what must have amounted to miles of walking and pushing.

And I ran and grabbed my camera in the middle of it. because isn’t that what love really is? Doing something for someone with the sole purpose of making that person happy with no gain for yourself.

Love is doing this:

Love is...

And only getting this in return:

I ate him shortly after this photo was taken

visit karen at chookooloonks and add your link to your contribution for Love Thursday.

You can read an explanation of what Love Thursday is here and find all the links, including the one to add your photo to the Flickr pool.

Posted by Chris @ 9:18 am  

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  1. Jennifer says:

    It’s funny that you wrote this. I had been thinking about your post on “country living” and wondering why I didn’t understand. Where I live isn’t perfect, but I always feel like I belong because I have five brothers and sisters who think exactly like I do. I don’t have a lot of friends, because they play that role as well. I hope your children are always just that for each other. I still simply LOVE your blog. Thanks!

  2. Meg says:

    I’m up for Love Thursday, and yours is much, much sweeter. Obviously.

  3. Lori says:

    Who would not want that reward! I only have 1 child who is now 16, but to get a real joyous smile from him always melts my heart!

  4. Jennifer says:

    You made me cry! Big fat rolling tears!

    If I don’t stop reading your blog I will go off the minipill without telling my husband.


  5. Novaks8 says:

    so sweet

    Those are the best times for me.

  6. Erin says:

    That’s a big return. I can’t wait to watch my children grow up together. And they better be nice to each other–or else.

  7. kasey says:

    That is so sweet. I miss my big brother. I love your blog. And I admire you.

  8. Keri says:

    Aww, so sweet! I hope my children love each other as much as your children love each other!

  9. Shelly says:

    Very sweet and tender! I love big families too. My boys are always telling each other how much they love them.

  10. Bryanne Mayhew says:

    Another crier over here! They are sweet tears tho. Thank you so much for sharing with us thru your blog. Your family is precious!

  11. Amy says:

    That is exactly what I think of when I think about love. Most excellent!

  12. Melanie says:

    I always wanted a big family, too. My mom was the oldest of 7, and I loved how they all told stories when they got together. I love seeing my 5 kids helping and loving each other, too.

  13. owlhaven says:

    Chris, I took the SAME pictures this week! My one year old is also obsessed with the scooter and her 8 year old brothers have been helping her.

    My Love Thursday is over here today:


  14. Sock Girl says:

    What a very sweet post!

  15. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the glimpse into your life and the greatness that is your family. You have done a great job and I hope I do half as good a job with my 2.

    You may just push me over to number 3.

  16. carrien says:

    THat’s a perfect picture. Nothing makes me remember to be thankful that I am a mother more than watching my children when they are loving each other. I never get pictures like that though. Sigh

  17. Courtney says:

    Aww! That made me all teary! So sweet!

  18. Julie says:

    So sweet. What a darling thing for the 5 yo to do. Your kids have clearly learned the meaning of love early.

    Your description of big families was spot on. I am one of 6 kids and to this day, when we range from age 31 to 17, we can all send each other into fits of giggles with entirely benign phrases. It’s a wonderful gift that I thank my parents for frequently.

  19. Pass the Torch says:

    Darling post. I love Love Thursday.

  20. Mir says:

    Help, I’m melting!!

  21. Susan says:

    That totally made me cry.

    Moments like that make everything ALL worth it.

  22. Amy says:

    Wow, my ovaries told you to post that, right? I’m in the middle of debating whether or not to have another. My daughter is 18 months and hubby would be happy with just her, just like I had expected to be. But now the only thing I can think of that would be more wonderful than watching her grow up is watching her grow up and be a big sister. So I’m greedy - one kid is amazing - I want TWO!

  23. 1girl2boys says:

    Oh man, that’s great! Love that grin!

  24. CaliforniaGrammy says:

    What an incredibly adorable smile Miles has—actually all of your kids have sweet smiles. We raised two daughters nearly five years apart and they are the best of friends as they have been all their life. Thanks for your blog, Chris. It’s a “must read” for us daily! I must go check out Love Thursday.

  25. Blaine says:

    You’re absolutely right! THAT is exactly what love is!!

  26. Chookooloonks says:

    Beautiful, Chris. Happy Love Thursday!


  27. JustLinda says:

    Aw… that is sweet. Very sweet.

    I’m not sure if my post today would qualify for love thursday. I mean, my 4 year old LOVES her 2 year old sister so much, but making up a song about her getting run over by a train… I just don’t think that’s what the love thursday people are looking for. hahaha

  28. Mieneke says:

    That was so sweet! You know you are doing something right as a parent when you get to see this happening right before your eyes.
    You are a very lucky woman.

    Would love to have this for Munchkin, would absolutely love it…

  29. Suzanne says:

    We want that. Erich and I have talked about wanting lots of babies and someday to be surrounded by our babies and their babies around a giant table just laughing and loving. That sounds like the perfect life.

  30. peepnroosmom says:

    What a great big brother. You are a lucky mommy.

  31. Jen says:

    “People ask me all the time how I made my children so kind and loving, especially to each other. There is no sibling rivalry or jealousy between my children at all. And really I have no magical answer”.

    You seem to have found a magical solution, however! I’d love to read a post on your ‘other’ blog - with perhaps not the magical answer, but some tips on how you think you have achieved this.

    I was wondering if it’s because you have no siblings and therefore have no negative imprint of how they are to behave? I know my sibling relationships are fraught with angst, and I just hope that I am doing the right thing having more kids if only to perpetuate that unconsciously. Others would give their eye teeth for what you have instilled in your kids - well done.

    ps Miles really has a gorgeous smile. And what a wonderful big brother! Miles is one lucky kid having 6 older siblings to look out for him in his life.

  32. Angela says:


  33. momslo says:

    You done good Mom!

    This is priceless.

  34. min says:

    I love your posts. So inspirational.

  35. shaz says:

    too sweet. I love when they are so loving towards one another.

  36. wordgirl says:

    *sigh* That’s the way it’s supposed to be, but that doesn’t make it commonplace. It’s still special.

  37. Joy H says:


    Great post. I admire the way you appreciate the little things.

  38. Jenny says:

    Your “Love Thursdays” always make my eyes fill with tears. I did cry like 5 times while watching LOST last night also so, you know….Really, though, thanks for taking the time to share sweet moments with us–I think it makes all our day a bit sweeter.

  39. Jen says:

    Great post! Your children are adorable… Reading your blog makes me want more (sometimes) :)

  40. Debbie says:

    *snivel* I wish I was half a good a mum as you. Love and respect. Yup. Must work on that before ‘hassled and argumentative’ become this family’s defining trademark….

  41. kris says:

    Along the same lines as Joy’s comment, love is also seeing the spectacular beauty in those everyday moments.

    I must confess that the first part of this entry made me somewhat sad; I have never wanted a family of my own, and this just reminds me of what I might be missing out on! :)

  42. Kim says:

    I ask myself the same things when I see my kids interact with each other too. I have no idea how we did it but they adore each other and for that I am most grateful.

  43. Rebecca says:

    Those photos made me cry (in a good way, of course). Thanks for the beautiful message.

  44. Stephanie says:

    Oh Chris… this is the best! :o)

  45. Mary says:

    Being from a big family is wonderful, how great that your kids just love each other! Growing up, my dad would tell us to be each other’s best friends. Sounded cheesy at the time, but it’s true, my sisters are my best friends, and I’m so glad for that.

    The pictures of the kids with the scooter are priceless!

  46. Michelle says:

    Cute pictures. My parents always told me (oldest of six) that nothing made them happier than seeing us love each other. Now as a mom of four, I understand what they meant.

  47. Kate says:

    “C’mon, sweetie, I’ll help you.”

    Well, that is enough to bring me out of lurkerdom. That is one of the sweetest moments I’ve ever heard of.

    I enjoy your blog immensely. Your writing is so entertaining and enjoyable.

  48. Heather B. says:

    awwww…he said “c’mon sweetie”. That is adorable.

  49. Christina says:

    Ok, so I am drying the tears now - beautiful picture!

  50. another anna says:

    All my baby-making calculations (start trying in a year or two, hopefully there’ll be enough time for two or three…) are being questioned. Start now! Pray for triplets! Then try again right away! Go babies go!

    Your family sounds wonderful.

  51. Erika says:

    Very touching post hun. Simly Lovely. My dh is one of 11 (and while I dont want 11 children, and think my MIL is a saint) I cant’t wait to watch my girls (2 & 4.5 months) interract more together. Thanks for a glimpse of what I hope is to come!

  52. Jen says:

    Whether you want to or not, you’re inspiring. I’m so in awe of the humans you’re raising. My family is also crazy, and I’m an only child too. We waited a long time to have kids ’cause I didn’t want to screw them up too badly. But I’m glad we had them, and I hope they turn out half as good as yours!

  53. Playdate Susan says:

    Really, you MUST stop with the cute CUTE pictures of Miles, because EVERY time I see him I think I want another baby.

    But then I remember that what I really want is Miles.


  54. Maddy says:

    Ain’t love grand.

  55. Beth says:

    Wow, so sweet. It’s great that they all have each other. :-) (Hmm. Your comment counter seems to be on strike…)

  56. Maliavale says:

    Icy heart melting — check and check!

  57. Elizabeth says:

    Aww, Chris, while I was reading I pictured you hosting the big ‘ole family gathering in 20 years with assorted kids, kid spouses, and grandkids all around - just imagine. Some people make lemonade from lemons, but you’ve made a fabulous community out of, well, I’ll let you define the lemons.

  58. Cheryl says:

    So, so sweet…..I miss my little boys :( they have grown up entirely too fast.

  59. rachel says:

    such a beautiful moment! I’m so glad you captured it. siblings are wonderful!

    I always wanted sisters to be close to, and now I have 3 girls. :) I’m so glad.

  60. Izzy says:

    Damn you for making me tear up and get a stuffy nose before bed…

    My kids adore each other and I hope they always will *sigh*

    Such a beautiful post. Reminds me of my own longings for a big family when I was a kid :)

  61. jen3 @ amazing triplets says:

    I love it, esp. the last photo.

    We have some neighbors that just moved in and earlier this week, they took our kids (23 mos) for rides on their scooters … just like these photos. What’s sad for me is that they grow up much too fast.

  62. Liz says:

    That was absolutely adorable - I love that huge baby smile!

    My 9yo daughter pushes her 18 month old sister on her own scooter exactly the same way. It just makes me melt…

  63. erilyn says:

    I think that deserved several candies added to the kindness jar! Adorable.

  64. Kristen says:

    That brought tears to my eyes. I am continually amazed at how sweet your kids are to one another. (And then continually disgusted with my failures to pass that capability on to my two sons…sigh.)

  65. Lisa says:

    *sigh* What a great post. I love it when I see my kiddos being sweet with one another. We have two, and every once in awhile, I have a twinge that we won’t have that big, huge loudness and exuberance that having a lot of kids would give. Although, my two can be pretty LOUD!! :)

  66. Pastormac's Ann says:

    So sweet! So glad that you captured the moment and grateful that you shared it with us!

    He only got a smile - but that smile is a priceless treasure worth far more than he knows.

    Ah brotherly love! Amazing.

  67. Angela says:

    You made this infertile woman cry…I always wanted a large family (reason I read your blog…vicarious living at its best) and although I’m grateful to have the one I do we are not able/ready to got through another adoption so odds are that we’ll be a family of three…still…there is a part of me that will always feel like I missed out. You have a beautiful family.

  68. Petroville » Blog Archive » A Perfect Post ~ September says:

    [...] Here’s the list of this month’s winners: Petroville awarded Her Bad Mother Suburban Turmoil awarded Mysterious Lady awarded Whiskey Talking Organized Chaos awarded Notes from the Trenches Here in the Hills awarded Heartsongs Miss Cellania awarded Simply Left Behind Mama Drama awarded Waking Up Wallpaper of my Mind awarded Worth Ten Thousand Words Aka Monty awarded Beauty Dish Wordgirl awarded V-Grrrl in the Middle I Obsess awarded Rock the Cradle Halushki awarded Lemon Parade Sunshine Scribe awarded Blog Antagonist Never That Easy awarded Wallpaper of My Mind Unexplored Territory awarded Amalah My Own Circle of Confusion awarded Hygiene Chronicles @ Blogfathers Crouching Mommy, Hidden Laundry awarded Adventures of a Domestic Engineer Life, the Universe and Everything awarded KY Coop Cast One Lazy Lesbian awarded The Lesbian Lifestyle Mary Tsao awarded MotherGooseMouse Masked Mom awarded Iowa Drift Bub and Pie awarded State of Discontent Peanut’s Mom awarded First Year or Last Will Daddy Come Too awarded Sarah and the Goon Squad The Fat Lady Sings awarded Soul Gardening Metro Mama awarded Sunshine Scribe Mystery Mommy awarded The Wait and the Wonder Pass the Torch awarded Pensieve The Silent I awarded The Lotus Life The Pink Diary awarded Almost Somewhat Positive Oh The Joys awarded What It Is [...]

  69. Notes from the Trenches » There are these awards… says:

    [...] Also, Organized Chaos nominated me for an award this month for my post, Love Is. Thank you. I am honored. Posted on October 2, 2006 by Chris @ 10:20 am   [...]

  70. Waya says:

    I so feel the love from this post. Congrats on the PPA, not that you need an award to let you know how good your blog is though.

    I was very fortunate to grow up with 2 brothers and 2 sisters, although we had our hair pulling fights, but we are so close to each other now…it’s like they are my bestest of friends. I wrote about my sisters on my last Love Thursday.

    My three children can be so loving at times and other times, they can fight like dogs and cats. The picture above reminded me of the time my oldest helped his little brother on the tricycle, and the kind words of encouragement just made me so proud!

  71. Mysterious Lady says:

    OMG! You made me cry! To have a moment like that in pic’s. You have your dream, your family!

    Congrats on your PP award!

  72. Mocha says:

    You consistently amaze me with your words and your heart and your family. I’m so glad you got what you desired in your children and I would SO have your back with anyone who would dare say anything about it. That’s how much I want to protect you from everything and everyone. You are so tender, Chris.

    Why do I always come here and spill like this? I can be Miss Snarky BitchAssMoFo everywhere else, and I come here and turn into a big marshmallow.

  73. Gillian says:

    So dear. At the same time I found myself thinking, but they learned that from you. Little ones aren’t born knowing how to be kind, gentle, thoughtful or compassionate. You have to teach them and even more you have to demonstrate those things over and over. You must be quite a dear heart yourself.